Saturday, January 05, 2008

Art Moore's FA 50K

This morning my brother Brian and I woke up around 7:15 to get ready for our 50K. I spent the night before so I wouldn't have to drive up to the Cuyahoga Valley this morning. We went to eat in Hudson last night at Dave's Cosmic Subs. It's a really cool place that has a real hippie atmosphere to it. They have 60's and alternative music playing pretty loud inside. You can even write your name or a message on the walls with a permanent marker.

We also went to Vertical Runner to pick up some supplies for the run. I got a Pure Energy Blue Blaze bar and a Spiced Pumpkin Pie and a Pear Apple Strudel Clif Bar. I thought I would take a chance with the Seasonal flavor bars and they both ended up being pretty good. I also had gotten a king-sized Snickers bar and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups earlier at Wal-Mart.

We decided to run our 50K for the Art Moore FA on the Buckeye Trail & do an out and back from Pine Lane to Brecksville. This is the summer BT50K course except in reverse. My last 50K, URINEO, was pretty tough being my first one, so I kind of knew what to expect coming into this one. However, I had somewhat forgotten the pain and wasn't very concerned about the long distance even with the cold I was getting over.

Brian and I did our usual tradition and went to the McDonald's in Streetsboro to get some Sausage & Egg McMuffin's (the breakfast of champions!!). We finished eating and were on our way to Pine Lane.

At around 8:30 AM we started our run. I had on Brian's fuel pack which carried one water bottle and had storage to hold my snacks. Brian had on his new CamelBak which was pretty cool. Along the trail between Pine Lane and the Boston Store, we saw a lot of groups of runners. We said hi to this man and woman at the parking lot at Pine Lane. They told us to go ahead since we were fresh. However, along the way they caught back up and we talked to them until the Boston Store where they finished. The man took the picture below of Brian and me running in between the pine trees.

Once we got onto the Blue Hen Falls trail, things became tougher with bigger and more hills. Also, there weren't nearly as many people out this way and almost no one as we got closer to Brecksville. Since there were less people, the snow was not packed down as much. The trails seemed to get worse and worse along the way. The cold temperatures (30's) formed frozen mud ruts along the trail that were hard to navigate. Everywhere else that wasn't frozen was slick and didn't allow for much footing, especially uphill.

The trails got so sloppy towards Brecksville at mile 12 that we decided to turn around and do the extra 7 miles on the Towpath by the Boston Store. Once we got there, though, we didn't feel like going out 3.5 on the Towpath and continued on back to our car at Pine Lane. At this point, we were both exhausted mentally and physically. We were talking about stopping at Pine Lane and just doing 24 miles. It sounded better and better the further we went along.

Finally after what seemed like forever, we reached the parking lot. We gave each other high fives for a good run. It felt great to be done, but we had come out here to run a 50K and it didn't feel complete. I had also thought about this blog post and did not want to write about how we failed to do the full distance.

So we sat down in the car for a few minutes and contemplated whether to stop or continue on and do the last 7 miles. After a lot of thought, we decided to head out 3.5 miles on Rt. 303. It was a mixture of running and walking, but I tried to push more running. We got out to the BP gas station and back to the parking lot. We still had 2 miles left though (according to Brian's GPS) so we headed out a mile. When we got back to the car, we were both so happy to be done! Our finishing time was 7:52.

This was definitely an experience I will never forget. I am happy that we did not quit and take the easy way out. It's amazing how you can push your body farther than you think.

Brian and I drove back to his apartment, got a shower and then headed out to North Olmsted to the party at Coleen's house. I saw a few familiar faces there and met some new people. Everyone was very friendly and fun to talk with. I hadn't really talked to Art too much last year when I went, but this year I learned all about his impressive running history. His friend Leo was also very impressive. He showed us a picture of himself with the worst black & blue eye I've ever seen. He got it at the beginning of an ultra, but still finished the whole thing!

All in all, it was a great day. I'll probably put the ultras aside for now and start training for Boston, but more ultras are sure to be ahead!


Jamie said...

Congrats Jeff! You're becoming a mega ultra machine. I like the blue blaze photo in your slideshow haha.

Next up..Boston!

Kim said...

Nice report! Much better than that non-report by that loser Pebble. Glad you stuck it out for the full 50K!

Anonymous said...

Nice work Jeff! I can't wait to watch how you do at Boston. Really good job with the mental aspect of getting out there and finishing the 7 (I KNOW Brian was whining...)

I am sorry I won't see you at the Winter Buckeye 50k...or wILL I?

How about you and Jamie come run that one? Nice and slow, just get another ultra in.

When do I get to start teasing Jamie on her blog? Will it be:

Jeff said...

Thanks everyone!

Mike, there is a 95% chance that you will not see me at the Buckeye 50K...and Brian and I were both whining excessively towards the end of the run haha